History of Embryology

History of embryology

The history of embryology is very long but this article will give you a short description of the history of embryology as a mark of respect for some legends. The legends that we discuss in this article are the peoples who have a significant contribution to the field of embryology.

The role of these legends can be explained perfectly by Sir Issac Newton quote that

“If I’ve seen further, it is by standing on the shoulder of earlier giants.”

The history of embryology start from the period of old Egyptians.

1. Old Egyptians believed that the Sun God Aten is the originator of germ in woman and seed in man, and gives life to the infant in the torso of the mother. Old Egyptians also knew the techniques of incubation of eggs of the birds.

2. The Garbha Upanishad, an ancient scripture of Hindus (written in around 1416 BC), describes the next ideas about embryo:

(a) Embryo comes into existence from the conjugation of blood and semen during the period favorable for conception after sexual intercourse.
(b) Developmental stages of an embryo are as under:
● 1-day-old embryo Development of Kalada
● After 7 evenings Formation of vesicle
● After per month Formation of the spherical mass
● After 2 a few months Formation of head
● After 3 months Formation of limbs

3. Hippocrates (460-377 BC)  gave the following advice to understand the introduction of the embryo.   Take 20 or even more eggs and let them be incubated by two or more hens. Then from the next day to your day of hatching remove one egg every day, break it, and examine it. You exactly see how an embryo evolves. This development of chick embryo can be similar compared to that of man.

4. Aristotle (384-322 BC)  wrote a treatise on embryology in which he described the development of the chick and other embryos. Aristotle is undoubtedly the Founder of Embryology. According to him, the embryo grows from a formless mass, which he referred to as a completely concocted seed with a nutritive spirit and all areas of the body. The mass arose from menstrual bloodstream after activation by semen.

5. Claudius Galen (130-201 AD)  had written a reserve on the forming of the fetus where he described the development and diet of fetuses. He also referred to structures that are actually called allantois, amnion, and placenta.

6. Samuel-el-Yehudi (second century AD) defined six phases in the forming of an embryo from a ‘formless, rolled-up thing’ to a ‘child whose months have been completed

7. The Quran (seventh-century Advertisement), the holy reserve of the Muslims, describes that humans are created from a mixture of secretions from the male and female. It also mentions that the individual is established from nufla (small drop). In addition, in areas that the causing organism settles in the womb such as a seed 6 days after its starting. The first embryo resembles a leech and later it resembles a ‘chewed material.’

8. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) made accurate drawings of dissections of the uterus of women that are pregnant containing fetuses.

9. William Harvey (1578-1657) believed that man seeds or sperms after getting into the womb or uterus get metamorphosed into an egg-like product that provides rise for an embryo.

10. Regnier de Graaf was initially to observe vesicular ovarian follicles in 1672 by making use of simple microscopes, which are still called Graafian follicles.

11. Johan Ham van Arnheim and Anton truck Leeuwenhoek were first to see an individual sperm. They thought that sperms include a small preformed human being that gets enlarged when sperm is deposited in the feminine genital tract.   Other embryologists at the moment thought that the oocyte contained a small individual that enlarged when it was activated by a sperm.

12. Caspar Friedrich Wolff (1759) suggested the layer idea, i.e., zygote produces layers that the embryo develops. His ideas shaped the foundation of the idea of epigenesis, which states that the development results from the development and differentiation of specialized cells. The mesonephros and mesonephric duct are called the Wolffian body and Wolffian duct, respectively, after his name.

13. Lazaro Spallanzani said (1775) that both oocyte and sperm are essential for initiating the development of an individual.

14. Heinrich Christian Pander found out the three germ levels in 1817.

15. Etienne Saint Hilaire and Isidore Saint Hilaire made significant studies of irregular development in 1818, initiating what we have now known as the science of teratology.

16. Karl Ernst von Baer explained the oocyte in the ovarian follicle of your dog in 1827. He also observed cleaving zygote in the uterine tube and blastocysts in the uterus. They provided new knowledge about the origin of tissue and organs from three germ levels of the embryo that developed two embryological principles:

(a) matching stages of embryonic development and
(b) that general characteristics precede specific ones.

For his significant and far-reaching contributions, he is regarded as the Father of Modern Embryology.

17. Hans Spemann (1869-1941) found out the sensation of primary induction, i.e., how one cell determines the fate of another. He was awarded Nobel Reward in 1935.

18. Patrick Steptoe and Robert G Edwards pioneered the introduction of the technique of in vitro fertilization. The Louise Dark brown is the first ‘test tube baby’ blessed in 1978.

19. James Till (1931-) along with Ernest McCulloch found out stem cells in 1960. Because the discovery of stem cells by James Right up until the expected treatment of terminal diseases is becoming enormous.

20. Ian Wilmut (1944), a British embryologist, is most beneficial known for leading a team that cloned a mammal from a grown-up somatic cell in 1996-a Finnish Dorset lamb called Dolly. The cloning is a cell, cell product, or organism that is genetically identical to the machine or individual that it was produced. Clones are duplicates of one another resembling in anatomy and physiology.


Embryology is a very important and wide field. various changes and advances are made in the field of embryology that makes the history of embryology very interesting. the history of embryology is very long. many legends such as Aristotle contribute to this field. the history of embryology begins from the time of old Egyptians. so if you want to learn embryology then read its history first.